After taking the detrimental penalty in Game 1 that doomed the Flyers to a defeat, Jason Akeson was a major part of the win last night during game 2. Now officially a Flyers come back kid, he tied the game during the 2nd period and salvaged his reputation with the fans. Although the Rangers dominated in the beginning with classic puck control and a strong power play unit, the Flyers applied pressure and played the defense.
Leading from the top, the Flyers top line got in on the action, building up their team’s confidence. In the 1st period with a goal by the top line, Voracek helped built the momentum, as he notched the go ahead goal with the help of Giroux-Hartnell. Showing great defense, the Flyers went onto claim their first lead of the game and first win, tying the series.
The Flyers are most dangerous when they are determined to win, and Game 2 was everything that Game 1 should have been. I think that by getting their first play-off game under their belt and dealing with the initial jitters the veterans have been able to help calm the hungry team and focus in on their goals on a game by game basis. Last night the Flyers top line was performing, they were working together and hungry for the win. They exhibited some great defense and hopefully will build off of that in the coming days.
The take away from this game is that: The series is just getting started, the Flyers still need better puck control and less time in the box. As they claim their first road win during this series, hopefully they have rattled Henrik Lunquist enough to post more wins this week against the Rangers. The Rangers are going to come hard on the fore-check, control the puck and dominate power play opportunities. By now, the Rangers are fairly consistent with how they play and the Flyers can use that to their advantage. The Flyers have ebbs and flows to their play and can rise up and surprise when they really are determined.
With Ray Emery posting a 50/50 split in the absence of Steve Mason should he continue to start in goal? Potentially Mason is expected to be healthy enough to play on Tuesday and with a chance at a serious run at the Cup should they let Mason rest up for more challenging competitors to come. I think that Mason has been out of goal for long enough and if he is good to go he needs to get in on the action. Too much rest is not a good thing, being in goal and blocking shots is going to be the best way for Mason to prepare for future games.